Coordination strategy based on hard-heuristics and price-updating scheme for copper smelting process

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Optimal scheduling of the copper smelting process is of great concern in the process industry due to the contradictory objectives of the process units and the presence of inter-dependencies between them. This in combination with commercial interests such as maximizing input concentrates to the Flash Smelting Furnace (FSF), continuous operation of the FSF, and production of the blister copper batches with a shorter batch time hinders the development of a scheduling algorithm based on linear optimization techniques. In this study, a hierarchical scheduling framework is developed that finds feasible schedules for the copper smelting process by solving process inter-dependencies using heuristics. For addressing the FSF inter-dependencies, this framework sees the FSF matte as a scarce resource, and the coordinator uses price-based heuristics for the optimal allocation of the matte to various Peirce-Smith converters. Two case studies are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the framework.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108198
JournalComputers and Chemical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - May 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Coordination
  • Copper smelting
  • Hierarchical framework
  • Large-scale process
  • Price-based heuristics
  • Scheduling

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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